31st Annual Christmas Gala to be performed in Natchitoches, Shreveport

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The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will present the 31st annual Christmas Gala Dec. 4-6 at the Natchitoches Events Center. Performance times are 7 p.m. each evening with a 9 p.m. performance on Dec. 6. The Gala will also be performed at the Strand Theatre in Shreveport on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and are available at capa.nsula.edu. NSU, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D. Students are advised to get their tickets in advance through the School of Creative and Performing Arts office in Room 110 of the Fine Arts Annex. Students should determine in advance which performance they will attend. Exchanges will not be available.

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A will call window will not be available in Natchitoches so those attending at the Natchitoches Events Center must pick up their tickets in advance or use the print at home option or mobile device. Due to limited parking in downtown Natchitoches, a shuttle service will be available to take patrons from Prather Coliseum to the Events Center at 5:30 p.m. The service will be available after the performance.

More than 300 Northwestern State students, faculty and staff in the School of Creative and Performing Arts combine their talents to present the Gala as a kickoff to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Large crowds attend the Gala each year which is based on the long-running Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

“The Christmas Gala is something both our students and the community look forward to each year,” said Gala Artistic Director Michael Rorex. “We prepare for the Gala throughout the year and enjoy presenting an event that has become a tradition for many area families. The overall experience is something our students never forget.”

According to Rorex, the program will incorporate popular pieces from years past along with several new elements such as a newly choreographed “Hip Hop” group by Theatre and Dance faculty member Jared Doster and a new Nativity this accompanied by the NSU Men’s chorus singing an arrangement of “O Holy Night.” Musical theatre students will perform a very entertaining rendition of “Mele Kalikimaka” from the popular Christmas show “White Christmas.” The Toy Soldiers and the Rockettes will appear, performing to new numbers.

The Grand opening of the Gala is a new arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” using lots of singers, the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and handbells from the First United Methodist Church of Natchitoches.

For more information, call (318) 357-4522.